While with its small population and geographical island isolation, containing the virus was relatively easy for New Zealand compared with large population countries, the American figures certainly provide food for thought. On a pro-rata population basis New Zealand would have almost 4,000 deaths instead of 25.
There’s no doubt the abomination in the White House has been a factor with his initial dismissing of this plague as a matter of concern. Nevertheless in fairness, the American figures when compared with Britain, France, Italy and Spain are not as extraordinary as at first sight.
Why? Because those four advanced countries’ fatalities from the virus, on a population basis, are virtually identical to America’s, indeed Spain’s and Britain’s are higher.
The fact is there are massive discrepancies between countries for reasons which can only be speculated about.
At the outset, say six months back it was assumed Africa, Indian and Pakistan for example, would for poverty reasons see their populations decimated. In fact by comparison with western nations they’ve got off relatively lightly.
Not so Latin America, most countries reporting death figures in line with the prosperous western nations.
Then there’s Laos, Japan, Thailand, Taiwan and some other Oriental nations with relatively miniscule death figures when compared with America etc. South Korea was in that category a week back but is now suddenly experiencing an enormous surge.
In short, at present there’s no clear patterns in the contagion or death tolls to explain the discrepancies between nations.